Iuss Philosophy Seminars
The Mark of the Mental (MOM) Project
“PHENOMENOLOGY AND REPRESENTATION”
February 17th 2021, 9.00
Frank Jackson – Emeritus Professor at Australian National University
Perceptual experiences have a distinctive feel. We see things as being a certain shape, colour, etc.; we feel things as touching a certain part of our bodies; we hear things as being located thus and so relative to ourselves. That's the truth behind the 'what it is like' way of talking. One way to account for the distinctive feel – the way that appeals to sense data – is metaphysically extravagant. A second – the multiple relations theory of appearing – cannot handle hallucinations and traffics in relations that call out for analysis. No surprise then that representationalism has become orthodoxy: perceptual experiences represent that things are thus and so, and the feel comes from how they 'say' things are. We will see that orthodoxy is right: experiences are representational states – simple empirical observations tell us that – but that accounting for the feel requires more than representation. I will end with a short comment on the bearing of all this on the knowledge argument.
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